Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bill Clinton Speaks to George Stephanopolous on Obamacare and 2106 Elections


People do bad things. Great men and women stumble and fall. Some are not broken by the public censure. They weather the storm and emerge stronger and smarter. Of those, some are more manipulative than ever, setting the stage unawares for another, more disastrous fall; others are more straightforward and a whole lot more likeable.  

Bill Clinton is one of the latter. He’s not the flirt he used to be. He’s more rooted, but he’s also disarmingly honest these days; outspoken, clear-sighted and focused, working for the good of humanity, enjoying himself immensely. He didn’t con the world into thinking he’s a good guy now; he genuinely changed. But he also has a real innate talent for enjoying life and moving beyond past mistakes. And he refused to be cowed. There's dignity in that.

GeorgeStephanopolous spoke to him about whether supporting Obamacare (which they both staunchly support) will help or hurt Hilary Clinton in the 2016 elections.

Stephanopolous: "I was really struck by something Lindsay Graham said the other day. He said ‘from now on’ – after Tuesday’s meeting – ‘I’m gonna call it Clintoncare.’...

[Breaking News (Fox News Live) showing On the Record]: “…if it’s a huge success Hilary Clinton will win the Presidency. If it’s the failure that I think it’s going to be then she needs to own the result of embracing this bill.” 

Stephanopolous: “How worried are you about that?”

Bill Clinton: “Not at all. There are some similarities and the one we proposed. His bill’s already produced a lot of good results. Look, they [Republicans] are desperate for this bill to fail. Because if it’s not a failure everything they’ve been telling us – since 1980 - they so badly want it to fail - I’ve never seen this – can you remember a time in your lifetime when a major political party was just sitting around begging for America to fail?”

Clinton’s recipe for winning a presidential election: “Two things: you’ve got to have a plan for the future that relates to the people – you know, this is not about the candidates as much as about having a plan for the future. 

“Secondly, you have to have a strategy for presenting your true self to the voters in an environment where there are unprecedented opportunities for those who don’t want you to win to paint a different picture of your true self.

“Learn the lessons of your mistakes and your failures without becoming a general who fights the last war. Because every new encounter will be shaped by different forces.”

Speaking about CGI – Clinton Global Initiative – he said something that showed an understanding of humanity that so many of us just don’t realize; that to move forward, you can have all the will in the world you could fail unless you have the right kind of support. “But I realized in the beginning when we started, we made unwarranted assumptions about how easy it was to decide what you wanted to do and then to do it.  And as we learn more about how people wanted to make informed choices and they need more help putting their commitments together, we did that.”

All in all, the man has a good understanding of the imperfections we all live with and how to get beyond them.